Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What's Cooking: Panang Curry!

I had recently moved to an apartment (with a real kitchen) on the north side of Balboa Park... My mother would never believe this, but I have actually been using the thing to coax the various food items hidden in my flat mate's refrigerator to transfigure themselves into semi-edible food thingy... luckily without having burned the place down or losing a limb (or an eye) in the process.... yet. I'm not being fashionably humble or anything, but I was banned from mom's kitchen (with the exception of the microwave oven) for good reasons.

Anyhow, thanks to good tips I keep reading at Anik LaChev's blog and watching at, I actually survived an attempt at a (rather stinky) Thai curry today.... Panang Beef is
the dish, and here are the list of ingredients:
Beef, coconut milk, panang curry paste, a bell pepper, a carrot, fish sauce, sugar

(I know, I know, it's far from authentic to be using sweeteners when cooking. But hey! Both my flat mate and I are bachelors. Do you really think we keep a fully (or properly) stocked kitchen!?!)
It wasn't an entirely successful coup, mind you. This thing calls for a can of coconut
milk, but I haven't got any and so decided to substituted with skimmed milk instead. That wasn't a particularly good choice since it doesn't have quite enough body to give the final result that stomach-soothing milky flavor.... though it was likely a bit healthier for my coronary arteries.

We didn't have any carrot in the fridge either, and decided at the last minute not to try to substitute that ingredient with the neighbor's cat (de-furring that thing would take too long :oP).
- Anyhow, I started by de-seeding the bell
pepper and slicing it into rectangular bits. Then slicing the beef tips into thin slices.
- put a sauce pan on medium heat and add a tbsp or so of cooking oil
- add 2 tbsp of panang curry paste and spread it around a bit
- add 1/4 cup of preferably coconut milk (if not, try real milk... rather than the skimmed version). Mix everything into this pink liquid.
- add the beef, then bell pepper and carrot. Keep stirring... and add another 1/4 cup of
- after a few minutes, add a tbsp of fish sauce (or salt, if you haven't got the former) and a tbsp of sugar (I used 2 packages of sweeteners I brought home from the coffee shop... that was too much :oP). Stir it occasionally until the meat and pepper (and carrot) are cooked.

I should warn you.... This thing stinks the place up worse than a wet dog! The taste is quite worth it, though (it's always served over steamed rice, though you can try make a sub-sandwich out of it). My first attempt was edible, but I'll definitely not dump 2 packages of sweetener into the thing before tasting it the next time around... And I'll be using whole milk rather than the fat-free one, too.


Sheri Fresonke Harper said...

Awesome :)

bereweber said...

oh mister Smorg, you are sooo brave! cooking Panang, it's a hard dish to make (specially for a couple of bachelors heh heh) hey! but my best friend once made it totally from scratch! it took him like 3 days, and when i say from scratch was literally, he even cracked the coconuts and baked them and then squeeze them and drain them to make the coconut milk, i will ask him for the recipe in case you go "loco" and wanna make it again

but if you are lazy, like me, i'd recommend you to go right on your neighborhood to eat some of my favorite Panang, the place is called Thai Time, on 30th Street, close to Howard St. (i think?) their Panang is really thick!! and delicious!! i like it with either chicken or their 'mock duck'... another dish they make great is their "Hot Basil Chicken" highly recommendable!! i have eaten many thai styles in San Diego, but Thai Time is still one of my favorites, hope you can visit it soon, here some info

take care and next time you make Panang, call me! i'll pick up the left-overs ;)

Georg said...

Hallo Smorgy,

Strange food for a European, indeed. And most of the ingredients already pre-packed, pre-skimmed, pre-cooked, pre-prepared. Still it might have tasted good because SE-Asian cooking is truly wonderful. Whenever we hit a bigger city than Aurillac, we try to find a decent Asian cookery.

Instead of white rice, try brown one, would be good for you.